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South County Woman Bilked O.C. out of $150K, D.A. Says

Fereshteh Shafiee is accused of claiming she worked full time as her parents' caregiver while working full time for the Orange County Social Service Agency.

Fereshteh Shafiee, 52, Mission Viejo is accused of claiming to be a full-time caretaker for her parents while also working full time for the Orange County Social Services Agency. Book photo courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Fereshteh Shafiee, 52, Mission Viejo is accused of claiming to be a full-time caretaker for her parents while also working full time for the Orange County Social Services Agency. Book photo courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office today arrested and charged a Mission Viejo woman with defrauding her employer, the Orange County Social Services Agency, out of $150,000.

Fereshteh Shafiee, 52, of Mission Viejo, is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

Meanwhile, investigators are still searching for two others allegedly involved, Shafiee’s mother, Iran Shafiee, 72, of Mission Viejo and Nahid Bijaripour Vakilian, 55, of Lake Forest, who also worked for the Social Services Agency, according to a press release from the D.A.’s office.

Vakilian was a supervisor for the In-Home Support Servicesprogram, which helps residents who are unable to live at home safely without help.

In addition to working full time for the agency, Shafiee represented herself to Vakilian as a full-time caregiver for her parents, even though they had no medical conditions requiring care, according to the D.A. 

Over the course of several months, Shafiee is accused of billing for 509 hours of care a month. This was in addition to the 173 hours spent at her job at the Social Services Agency.

“In a month with a total of 720 hours, Fereshteh Shafiee is accused of claiming to work 682 hours,” says the press release.

Vakilian was fully aware that Shafiee’s claimed hours were fraudulent, but she approved them anyway. Then Shafiee turned around and lent Vakilian $150,000, according to the D.A.

Shafiee is charged with one felony count each of misappropriation of public funds and medical insurance fraud with sentencing enhancements and allegations for over $100,00 in loss, property loss over $65,000, and aggravated white collar crime over $100,000, the D.A. reports.

If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison, according to the press release.

Shafiee’s mother and Vakilian both have warrants out for their arrest. Vakilian, facing the exact same charges as her Social Services colleague, is believed to be in Iran, according to the D.A.’s office.

andy fischer February 27, 2014 at 09:39 AM
Some of the work at home moms I know bill 40+ plus to their employers while taking care of their kids or feeding their Facebook addictions. I hear them on telecons with kids yelling in the background. When you see these moms, their faces are tan, their nails are done, and they have tennis rackets in the backseat of their cars.. When you call them with a work related question, they rarely answer the phone or if they do, you hear the barrista calling out in the background "Double Frat, extra whip...".
ace February 27, 2014 at 01:16 PM
what a great Public servant.. Serving herself to the taxpayers funds.. Govt gone wild....
jonesdz February 27, 2014 at 01:45 PM
Its a shame that IHSS now has some bad publicity especially when the program continues to be in the conversastion most of the time of services to cut.
John Paul February 28, 2014 at 08:51 AM
Dissolute individual
Donna Fleming February 28, 2014 at 12:34 PM
She was in a perfect job to learn "the system", then she worked it. Jail time.
Carol February 28, 2014 at 02:13 PM
Why do we pay people to care for their own family members?
andyleaf March 01, 2014 at 12:22 PM
It is unfortunate that people take advantage of a badly needed program that are essential to people like myself with a severe disability. I have been a quadriplegic for 50 years and on a ventilator for three years. I do not have any family members to care for me. Money from IHSS pays my caretakers to perform life-saving treatments so that I can remain in my home. Why is it that in Orange County, IHSS only pays my caretakers $9.30/hour to provide me with healthcare that will keep me from expensive hospitalizations or being in an institution? Other counties like Riverside pay their IHSS caretakers $11/hour.

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